Dan Eberwein 1996-1997
As Past-President, one of my duties is to compile this Annual Report which sums up the activities and successes of the past year. At the beginning of the year, a "STAO Action Plan" (printed in the Crucible) was developed for implementation. Now, after the year is completed, I am pleased and proud to tell you that much has been accomplished.
With respect to "Association Structure", the Policy and Procedures section of the Councilor’s Handbook has been revised, a Conference Planning guide is well under way, and new Manuals are in the hands of all STAO Board members. The Membership office has been monitored and effectively communicates with all members.
"Communication" was a major thrust in this plan. A STAO web site at http://www.stao.org now connects all members having access to the Internet to information about our organization and upcoming Conferences. All but two of the Board now has Email in place for effective communication. STAO was represented at the Ontario Curriculum Project throughout the year, effectively communicating concerns of science education to the Ministry of Education and receiving information about changes in education to our organization. Many relationships with other subject associations have been established in this way.
STAO has been active in ‘96/’97 with respect to "Resources". New resources written by teachers for teachers were commissioned and completed. Two of these are available for purchase at this Conference. Micro-Scale Science continues to be developed and tested as a new valuable resource for teachers in Ontario. Guidelines for Lab Renovation are currently being completed by the STAO Safety Committee.
"Professional Development" continues to be a focus of STAO. An excellent conference attracting over 2100 teachers from Ontario and the northeastern United States was held in November of 1997. STAO participated with NSTA, forging a new working relationship, to bring quality PD for both secondary and elementary educators. Region 1, "The Northern Region", held a successful regional conference and STAO participated with "Let’s Talk Science" at another conference in the spring of 1997. Letters written to the Ontario College of Teachers have resulted in a relationship forming with STAO representation and participation and monitoring by OCT at STAO ’97. STAO also continues to break new ground by offering an integrated conference with technical educators at SCI-TECH ’97.
STAO has assumed a strong "Leadership" role in the following ways. STAO was represented in Ottawa for the setting of science standards for age 13 and 16 students in Ontario. STAO worked cooperatively with SCCAO, the ASAP project and MOET in the revision of the Pan Canadian Science Project Drafts and to write Illustrative Examples for the same project. STAO was represented on the "Expert Panel" to define Science Literacy, set new curriculum directions, identify health and safety needs, and make recommendations with respect to the role of technology, out-of-classroom learning experiences, cooperative education and many other areas.
"Financial Security" has been assured by continuing our membership drive for new Corporate members. Sound business decisions, resource development and membership involvement continues to be our strengths as our 108 year history continues.
I believe that STAO is on a firm foundation from both an organizational and financial point of view. I have found this year to be rewarding both personally and professionally. It has been a pleasure to work with so many people committed to the advancement of science education in Ontario. My sincere thanks to all Board members for their diligence and dedication. My thanks also to the Executive for their invaluable guidance and support. Finally, thank you, the members for the opportunity to serve.